They are ugly. They smell bad. They are bad for your health. They can cause structural damage to your home. They are mold and mildew, and if left untreated, things will only get worse.
Mold and mildew “invasions” are usually the result of serious moisture problems somewhere in your home. The problem can be under a sink, the result of an issue with your roof or gutters, or a damp basement with higher than normal humidity. There are several things you can do to stop or slow the invasion… and get rid of the invaders if they are already present:
Increase Air Circulation Within Your Home. When it is practical, allow fresh, dry air from outside into your home. Turn on ceiling fans. When showering or bathing turn on the vent fan to help exhaust the excess moisture. Keep furniture or other large objects a few inches away from walls, especially outside walls to allow for better air movement. Consider installing an exhaust fan in the laundry area.
Don’t Leave Wet Items Lying Around. Clean and dry water-damaged carpets and rugs. Wet clothes or wet bedding needs to be removed and dried as soon as possible. Mop and dry spills or leaks immediately.
Vacuum And Dust Your Home Regularly. Dusting and sweeping will help remove mold and mildew spores before they have a chance to settle and spread.
Run That HVAC System. Spring and summer, with higher temperatures and higher humidity, are the peak seasons for mold and mildew growth. Your air conditioner is a giant-sized dehumidifier designed to hold humidity levels at or below 45%.
Ventilate Attics and Crawl Spaces. Warm, moist air rises and collects in your attic. Proper ventilation allows that air to be released from your home. In the crawl space, a layer of plastic sheeting should be installed to prevent the natural moisture in the ground from moving into your structure.
Removing Mold and Mildew. Household cleaners and a little scrubbing can be used to remove mold from hard surfaces like metal, plastic, and ceramic. Clothing bedding and fabrics can be washed with a detergent. Items like books, mattresses, and documents should probably be discarded. NEVER use bleach on porous materials like drywall. This will only intensify the existing problem.